Growing up in rural Tanzania and experiencing the challenges of energy access, Upendo, a 22-year-old entrepreneur, decided to engage in a social entrepreneurship journey to serve women by allowing easier, sustainable, clean energy alternatives. At the same time, she hopes to contribute to solving climate change threats that are now visibly affecting us all. She also holds a Diploma in General Agriculture from the National Sugar Institute, which gives her the necessary background in her business as well. When she is not focusing on her business, she likes dancing and learning new things.
Transition into Entrepreneurship
Upendo found her mother using firewood and charcoal as their source of energy for cooking. This basic need to cook has dire consequences for poor families, as it can cause them disease and death. It is also fatal to the environment as it causes air pollution. Upendo found that 95% of households in Tanzania use unsustainable materials for everyday use, creating large piles of waste. This waste is a potential resource for making charcoal briquettes, which will highly conserve the environment. It will decrease waste load to municipal dumps towards zero landfill and create more employment for the different marginalized communities (women, youth, orphanage centers, and refugee camp). It will also save the environment, which can go a long way in the alleviation of Tanzania’s energy problems and increasing the availability of sustainable cooking fuel for economic empowerment towards sustainable development and an industrial economy.
Mkaa Safi is a company that deals with the production of renewable energy from agricultural wastes. The venture produces clean energy from sugarcane bagasse and produces charcoal briquettes that are clean, affordable, accessible, and sustainable. The venture produces briquettes from waste which is eco-friendly energy, smokeless with no health concerns. The renewable source of energy has a long burning time, reducing the cost of cooking fuel, and avoiding deforestation for sustainable development.